World Day of Prayer to of­fer thoughts to the Repub­lic of Suri­name res­i­dents

Alpine Observer - - News -

SINCE 1887, on or near the first Fri­day in March ev­ery year, mil­lions of Chris­tians have gath­ered world­wide to pray for the is­sues of fam­ily vi­o­lence, child abuse, hu­man traf­fick­ing and other forms of in­jus­tice.

In 2018 that prayer­ful sup­port will be di­rected at the 540,000 in­hab­i­tants of the Repub­lic of Suri­name, on the north-east­ern coast of South Amer­ica.

De­spite a his­tory steeped in slav­ery and po­lit­i­cal coups, this tiny na­tion has achieved re­mark­able progress since its in­de­pen­dence in 1975.

Suri­name en­joys mul­ti­eth­nic­ity and bio­di­ver­sity, free­dom of re­li­gion, free pri­mary and sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion and free med­i­cal care for chil­dren and se­niors.

But be­hind closed doors, fam­ily vi­o­lence, abuse and ne­glect are on­go­ing is­sues.

Chil­dren are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble, many grow­ing up in or­phan­ages or one-par­ent fam­i­lies.

While ed­u­ca­tion is free, there is no com­pul­sory school at­ten­dance.

Child labour in the form of street sell­ing is com­mon, but of far more se­ri­ous con­cern is the fact that many chil­dren are labour­ing in the gold mines of Suri­name.

Ev­ery­one is in­vited to join in prayer for the needs of Suri­name and its peo­ple at a World Day of Prayer ser­vice at St Paul’s Angli­can Church at 10am on Fri­day, March 2.

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